Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Neonicotinoids, Genetically Modified Crops & National Wildlife Refuges


By January 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency will ban the use of neonicotinoids, often called "neonics," at National Wildlife Refuges across the country. Neonics are widely used nerve insecticides that an increasing number of scientific studies have shown are harmful to bees, birds, mammals, 
and fish. Most often, agricultural seeds are coated with the neonics, which spread the toxins throughout the plant as the plant grows. More importantly, recent studies have raised concerns over the impact of neonics on birds and on aquatic systems.

Neonicotinoids currently account for 40 percent of the global pesticide market and are used to treat most of the corn and soybean crops in the U.S. Ironically, these nicotine-like chemicals were introduced in the 1990's in response to health concerns linked to older pesticides.

In the announcement concerning the phase-out of neonics on refuges, the chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Jim Kurth, wrote, "We have determined that prophylactic use, such as a seed treatment, of the neonicotinoid pesticides that can distribute systemically in a plant and can affect a
broad spectrum of non-target species is not consistent with Service policy."  In the same USFWS memo by Kurth, the Service announced that it will
also begin to phase out the use of genetically modified crops to feed wildlife on refuges.

The full memo here:
www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/agricultural-practices-in-wildlife-management_20849.pdf

Seabirds and Marine Life Protected

Good News!     Seabirds and Marine Life Protected 


The US this week created the largest marine reserve in the world by expanding Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the 
south-central Pacific Ocean
, increasing the monument to cover 490,000 square miles, six times its current size; among the marine life 
protected are seabirds such as boobies, frigatebirds and Sooty Terns.

Good birding,
Sue

Friday, September 26, 2014

NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE BIRDING CLASS




Birds of Plum Island on October 4th

North Shore Community College Class Birds of Plum Island Date: Saturday, October 4, 2014 Time: 9:00 am to Noon Meeting Location: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge's Parking Lot #1 on Plum Island in Newburyport Instructor: Sue McGrath, Past President of the Essex County Ornithological Club & Founder & Program Designer at Newburyport Birders
Bird watching at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island is exciting because it’s a world famous, productive site. Learn to appreciate the world of birds! During this three-hour class, students will learn about birds in an “outdoor classroom”. This class will provide new birders with the aids needed to begin bird identification ~ special characteristics, bird behavior and habitat preferences. We will focus on bird identification techniques. We’ll be walking over gentle terrain at a slow pace. Sturdy footwear is necessary along with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, hat, insect repellent and sunscreen. Bring a snack and a beverage. Class fee includes interpretive materials and entrance fee to the Refuge. To learn more and to register, call North Shore Community College at 978-762-4000.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - 9/25/14

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Little Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Eurasian Wigeon, Lapland Longspur, Scarlet Tanager, American Pipit, Whip-poor-will, American Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Yellow-headed Blackbird, American Bittern, Horned Grebe, Black Guillemot, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail,  Green-winged Teal, Black Scoter, Common Loon, White-winged Scoter, Wild Turkey, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Red Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, House Wren, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet,  Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Pine Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Eastern Towhee,  Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow 

Ferry Road, Salisbury: 
Cooper's Hawk, Wild Turkey, House Wren, Barred Owl

Cherry Street, Newburyport:
Scarlet Tanager, Cedar Waxwing, American Robin

Maple Street, Amesbury:
House Wren, Song Sparrow

Ring's Island, Salisbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Greater Yellowlegs, Double-crested Cormorant, American Goldfinch, Belted Kingfisher, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Mallard, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, American Crow, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull

Route 1A, Rowley:
Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Snowy Egret, Great Egret

Hay Street, Newbury:
Common Nighthawk, Belted Kingfisher, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Green Heron, Canada Goose 

Star Island, Portsmouth, NH:
Orange-crowned Warbler, Northern Harrier, Great Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Cedar Waxwing, Blackpoll Warbler, Palm Warbler, Lincoln Sparrow, Cape May Warbler

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury:
Wood Duck

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury:
Red-throated Loon, Merlin, Eastern Phoebe, Common Loon, Cooper's Hawk, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Pine Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret

Pingree School, Hamilton:
Belted Kingfisher,  Killdeer, Canada Goose

Newburyport Industrial Park:
Great Egret, American Woodcock, Green Heron, Eastern Phoebe

Old County Road, Salisbury:
Northern Harrier

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
American Golden-Plover, Great Horned Owl, Baird's Sandpiper, Piping Plover, Hudsonian Godwit, Red Knot, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Philadelphia Vireo, House Wren, Field Sparrow, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Black-backed Gull  

Elm Street, Salisbury:
Spotted Sandpiper, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Phoebe, Sharp-shinned Hawk

Chain Bridge Area, Newburyport:
Bald Eagle, Greater Yellowlegs, Double-crested Cormorant, Cedar Waxwing

Hanover Street, Newbury:
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Flicker, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Gray Catbird, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Crow, American Robin

Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH:
Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk,  
Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull,  
Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Rock Pigeon, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow,  
Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin,  
Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, 
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, American Goldfinch 

Crane Beach, Ipswich:
American Redstart, Blackpoll Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Caspian Tern, Dunlin, White-winged Scoter, Whimbrel, Pectoral Sandpiper, 

Eastern Screech-Owl, Cedar Waxwing, Dark-eyed Junco

Hanover Drive, Newbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, House Wren

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Black-capped Chickadee, American Crow, Northern Mockingbird, Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, European Starling, Song Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Great Blue Heron, Common Yellowthroat, American Robin, Eastern Phoebe

Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture, Killdeer, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow

Newman Road, Newbury:
Great Egret

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bottle Bill - Please Vote Yes!

6 Reasons to Vote Yes and Update the Bottle Bill

Massachusetts residents litter or throw out over 3.5 million empty bottles, the vast majority of them water and juice consumed away from home every day.  These empty, non-deposit containers litter Massachusetts.  Updating our bottle bill to make them part of the successful, nickel deposit program will clean up our streets, rivers, beaches and parks. 

Less Litter!
That nickel deposit has proved to sharply decrease litter.  Water bottles, which have no deposit, are 9 times more likely to become litter than deposit bottles. Studies done before and after bottle bills are passed show reductions in beverage container litter ranging from 69% to 84 and reductions in total litter ranging from 30% to 65%.  While many forms of litter decompose over time, plastic bottles will never break down.

Increases Recycling
An amazing 80% of beverages that are covered by the bottle bill are redeemed or recycled. Studies show that 23% of non-deposit containers are recycled; the rest become litter or are thrown in the trash and are not recycled.

Creates Green Jobs
Job gains have been shown in nearly every state that has updated their deposit system. Many of these jobs come in the recycling sector which produces important, sustainable raw materials to be used in manufacturing.  Recycling creates 10 times as many jobs as trash disposal does.

Reaches On The Go Beverage Consumers
Curbside recycling is most useful for beverages consumed at home, but it's often ineffective for beverages consumed on the go. That small deposit is an incentive to encourage people to redeem their empty containers.

Strong Public Support
77% of the public supports updating the Bottle Bill; we all have seen the positive effect that it has had on the environment with fewer roadside cans and bottles.

Endorsed by More Than 200 Cities and Towns
Updating our Bottle Bill will boost recycling, saving communities $7 million/year in costs associated with litter pick up and disposal.

2014-2015 Winter Finch Forecast

We donned our heavy jackets this morning while birding Plum Island. Our conversation was about
whether we would have a good winter finch season.

So here's the anxiously awaited Winter Finch Forecast by Ron Pittaway of the Ontario Field Naturalists.
It sounds like we will not be seeing many waxwings or grosbeaks this winter.  The prospects for redpolls
and possibly crossbills are better.

http://www.jeaniron.ca/2014/forecast14.htm

Good birding,
Sue

Friday, September 19, 2014

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - 9/17/14

Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture

Elm Street, Amesbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Carolina Wren

Newbury's Upper Green:
Great Egret

Various Areas on Cape Ann:
Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Laughing Gull, Brant 

Crane Beach & Crane Estate, Ipswich:
Wild Turkey, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper,
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Eastern Screech-Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Phoebe, Philadelphia Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, American Redstart, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal,  Common Grackle, House Finch, American Goldfinch

Low Street, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture

Nahant Causeway, Nahant:
American Kestrel

Maple Street, Amesbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Newington, NH: 
Cooper's Hawk, Killdeer, Common Nighthawk 

Parker River, Newbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Double-crested Cormorant, American Goldfinch, Osprey, Mallard, Greater Yellowlegs, Belted Kingfisher, Chipping Sparrow,
Northern Cardinal, Eastern Phoebe, Downy Woodpecker, Gray Catbird

Pointe Shore, Amesbury:
Double-crested Cormorant, Bald Eagle, Mallard, Spotted Sandpiper, Canada Goose

Granite State Whale Watch Out of Rye, NH:
Canada Goose, Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, Common Loon, Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel,    
Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, American Oystercatcher, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Red-necked Phalarope,   
Phalarope species, Parasitic Jaeger, Black Guillemot, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Eastern Kingbird, Carolina Wren, European Starling, Yellow Warbler, Savannah Sparrow

Newman Road, Newbury:
Great Egret, Eastern Screech-Owl

Odiorne Point Banding Station, Rye, NH:

Downy Woodpecker,Eastern Phoebe, Traill's Flycatcher, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, American Redstart, Gray Catbird, Carolina Wren, House Wren

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:                                                                                                                                                                                               Great Blue Heron, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Mourning Dove, American Crow, European Starling, House Sparrow, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Eastern Wood-Pewee, House Wren, American Goldfinch, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Harrier, Savannah Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Song Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Bald Eagle, American Robin, Orchard Oriole

Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH:
Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Moulton Street, Newburyport:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, White-breasted Nuthatch

Route 1A, Rowley:
Great Egret

Clark Pond, Ipswich:
Mute Swan, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Bald Eagle, Black-bellied Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, 
Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
American Woodcock, Yellow-breasted Chat, Short-billed Dowitcher, Northern Gannet, Sora, Long-billed Dowitcher, Merlin, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, Olive-sided Flycatcher, American Bittern, Red Phalarope, Gull-billed Tern, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper,  Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow


Artichoke Reservoir, West Newbury:
Osprey, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Mallard, Wood Duck, Red-eyed Vireo

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Philadelphia Vireo, Great Horned Owl, Western Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Piping Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling, Caspian Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwit, Semipalmated Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper,
Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Peregrine Falcon 

Blynman Canal & Stacey Boulevard, Gloucester:
Little Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Common Eider, Laughing Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Ring- billed Gull, Double-crested Cormorant

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Laughing Gull, Caspian Tern, Merlin, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Black-bellied Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Common Eider, White-winged Scoter, American Crow, House Sparrow, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron

Save The Date for the 23rd Annual Birder's Meeting - March 23, 2015



Date: March 23, 2015 
Location: Bentley University in Waltham, MA.
The theme will focus on both the large- and small-scale management changes that our native birds need.
Look for a full day of programs and presentations offering both case-studies of large “working landscapes” and information on the importance of small-scale management. 
In time, additional details will follow!
Good birding,
Sue

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Birds of the World Gallery Reopens September 20 at Harvard Museum of Natural History



On Saturday, September 20, 2014, Birds of the World will reopen at the Harvard Museum of Natural History ​after a major renovation. Located around the high balcony encircling the Great Mammal Hall, the new gallery captures the stunning diversity of birds, with hundreds of bird specimens on display representing over 200 different bird families from around the world. New displays reveal the very latest in surprising scientific discoveries about the evolution of birds, which scientists now know to be modern dinosaur descendants. This exhibition is the culmination of months of cleaning and refurbishing mounted bird specimens from the Ornithology collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, completely renovating antique cases, and redesigning the exhibit displays. 



Boasting over 10,000 species, birds are the most diverse land vertebrates on the planet, surpassing the biological 
diversity of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Thriving in every corner of the globe, from tropical forests to polar ice caps, birds vary tremendously in habit and size from diminutive bee hummingbirds to towering 10-foot-high elephant birds, flightless giants that roamed the African island country of Madagascar until the 17th century.

In conjunction with the opening, the museum will offer a free public lecture with Helen James, Curator-in-Charge, Division of Birds, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, on September 24 at 6:00 pm. The lecture is entitled, Bird Extinctions in the Hawaiian Islands. James will discuss bird extinction in the Hawaiian Islands since 
human colonization eight hundred years ago. Once the site of remarkable population diversity, Hawaii has lost many of its species to extinction. James will talk about the history of these extinctions and what lessons can be learned from them. Subsequent lectures this fall will commemorate extinct birds and explore the potential of genetic editing to possibly help species recover their genetic diversity. 

The Birds of the World exhibit is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden, Harvard AB ’52, 
LLB ’55. 

About the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Street, Cambridge, on the Harvard campus, a 7-minute walk from the Harvard Square Red Line MBTA station. The museum is wheelchair accessible. 
The museum is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 361 days/year.
Admission: adults $12; seniors and students, $10; youth ages 3–18, $8; free to Harvard ID holders and one guest.

For directions, exhibitions, lectures, and information on parking, see the website or call 617.495.3045.

ABA - 2014 State of the Birds

2014 State of the Birds

http://blog.aba.org/2014/09/2014-state-of-the-birds-report.html

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Not Seeing Monarchs?

Monarch by Nathan Dubrow


There are many components to the Monarchs' decline:

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/conservation_overview.html

David A. Sibley Presents at Essex County Ornithological Club's Meeting on 9/26/14

David Sibley will be the speaker at Essex County Ornithological Club's September Meeting 

Topic: The Art of Identification.  
Date: Friday, September 26th
Time: 7:30pm
Where: Peabody Essex Museum's Morse Auditorium in Salem, MA

It takes a special talent to create great field guide art, with key visual content packed into minimal space. Tracing his own artistic development through sketches and paintings, renowned naturalist and bestselling author David Sibley explores the unique requirements and challenges of illustrating for field guides.  
A book signing follows the program.






American Oystercatcher

American Oystercatcher by Jeffrey Offermann


It has stark and bold plumage and is large with a crow-sized body. It almost looks cartoon-like at first glance.  A wary and shy bird that prefers isolated sandy or rocky stretches along secluded beaches.

The posture and behavior is very plover-like.  They run and stop to forage with their thick, knife-like bill.  With the bill it pries open bivalved mollusks, clams and oysters.

In 2001, the estimated population for the entire North American continental population was 7500 total individuals. This makes the American Oystercatcher a high conservation concern in much of its North American distribution range.

Two races of American Oystercatcher breed in North America: the eastern race along the Atlantic coast.  The second race is along the Pacific coast from northwestern Baja California southward. In areas north of Baja California, the Black Oystercatcher is found.

Good birding,
Sue

Monday, September 8, 2014

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - 9/8/14

Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury/Newburyport:
American Golden-Plover, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH: 
American Golden-Plover, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Mallard, Red-tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove,
Merlin, Barn Swallow

Artichoke Reservoir, West Newbury:
Great Blue Heron, Pine Warbler, Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, Mallard, Mute Swan, Green Heron

Crane Beach & Crane Estate, Ipswich:
Whimbrel, Green-winged Teal, Wild Turkey, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Yellowlegs species, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern, Common Tern, Mourning Dove, Eastern Screech-Owl, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat,
Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Common Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Great Blue Heron, Northern Mockingbird, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, American Robin, European Starling, Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Yellow Warbler, Palm Warbler, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, House Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Brown Thrasher, Common Yellowthroat, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren

River Road, West Newbury:
Great Blue Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Bald Eagle, Green Heron

Low Street, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Stilt Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit

Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH:
Upland Sandpiper

St. Mary's Cemetery, Newburyport:
Merlin, Eastern Phoebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Mockingbird, Cooper's Hawk, Chipping Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Flicker, House Wren


New Hampshire Seacoast:
Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, Snowy  Egret, Great Egret, American Golden-Plover, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Whimbrel
Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler,
Wilson's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Scarlet Tanager

Newburyport Harbor:
Wilson's Phalarope, Forster's Tern

Ash Street, West Newbury:
Green Heron

Granite State Whale Watch out of Rye, NH:
Red-necked Phalarope, Northern Gannet, Great Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater,  Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, 
Ruddy Turnstone, Short-billed Dowitcher, Black-bellied Plover

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Western Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Red Knot, Short-billed Dowitcher, Black-bellied Plover, Piping Plover, Sanderling, Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Northern Gannet

Cherry Hill [Indian Hill] Reservoir, West Newbury:
Green Heron, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow

September Birding Programs

Salicornia, a salt marsh plant in the fall



Birding in the Settlers' Footsteps 
Date: Saturday, September 13
Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am 
Meeting Location: Newbury's Lower Green 
Fee: $15 

We'll explore the town landing, the Lower Green area, the Parker River, the base 
of the 168-foot "Great Hill" and the diverse habitat along Newman Road. During 
this ramble, we'll search for birds. Please wear sturdy, walking shoes and bring 
a beverage and snack. 


Sunday Evening at Sandy Point 
Date: Sunday, September 14th 
Time: 4:00 pm to dusk 
Fee: $15. 
Meeting Location: Parking Lot #1 on Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island from where we'll carpool to Sandy Point

Join us as we bird Sandy Point. Please wear sturdy, walking shoes. 


Feathers, Wings & Flight 
Date: Saturday, September 20
Time: 9:00 am to noon
Fee: $20. 
Meeting Location: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge at Parking Lot# 1 

Explore Parker River National Wildlife Refuge during this interpretative 
program. The focus will be on field marks and where these migrants are headed. 
We'll be watching bird behavior at this premier, birding destination. 
A long-sleeved shirt and long pants are suggested. 


Birding on the Town Pier
Dates: Sunday, September 21
Time: 5:00 pm - dusk
Meet at: Salisbury's Ring's Island Town Pier
Fee:$15 

We'll be looking for migrating birds! During our program, we'll focus on the 
many aids to field identification. 


Feathers, Wings & Flight 
Date: Saturday, September 27
Time: 9:00 am to noon
Fee: $20. 
Meeting Location: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge at Parking Lot# 1 

Explore Parker River National Wildlife Refuge during this interpretative 
program. The focus will be on field marks and where these migrants are headed. 
We'll be watching bird behavior at this premier, birding destination. 
A long-sleeved shirt and long pants are suggested. 


Birding on the Town Pier
Dates: Sunday, September 28 
Time: 5:00 pm - dusk
Meet at: Salisbury's Ring's Island Town Pier
Fee:$15 

We'll be looking for migrating birds! During our program, we'll focus on the 
many aids to field identification. 

Merlin & Dragonflies

Merlin by Phil Brown


At St. Mary's Cemetery in Newburyport this evening, we came across a Merlin perched atop a pine.
We then watched it successfully hunt dragonflies. This Merlin returned to the same perch each time
to consume its prize seized in midair. We had wonderful, prolonged looks as the bird sat facing west.

Merlins, Purple Martins, Whip-poor-wills and Common Nighthawks are dragonfly predators. Although
these birds are less agile than the odonates, they fly faster and approach the odes from the rear.

Good birding,
Sue

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Whimbrel

Whimbrel bill by Nathan Dubrow


During the breeding season, Whimbrels take advantage of a wide range of 
habitats including scrub land and tundra.

They prefer marshes and grasslands during migration.

Whimbrels face a many challenges, from habitat loss to environmental 
contaminants.  Their widespread population
is declining around the country.  Whimbrels need protected areas where 
they can breed and feed without being
disturbed.

The Whimbrel's genus name--Numenius--means "of the new moon," which 
describes the Whimbrel's slender, crescent
moon of a bill.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - 9/4/14

Whimbrel by Nathan Dubrow


Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Great Horned Owl, American Woodcock, Whip-poor-will, Red-necked Phalarope, Gull-billed Tern, Black Guillemot, Willow Flycatcher, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Wild Turkey, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Marbled Godwit, Spotted Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Sanderling, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Eastern Kingbird, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird 

Lake Attitash, Amesbury/Merrimac:
Mute Swan, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Eastern Phoebe, Rose-breasted Grosbeak


10th Street, Newbury:
Caspian Tern

Bray Street, West Gloucester:
Red-breasted Merganser, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker 

Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury/Newburyport:
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Great Egret, American Woodcock, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwit, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Mourning Dove, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, European Starling, Bobolink

Crane Beach, Ipswich:
Baird's Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Semipalmated Plover, Sanderling, Black-bellied Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black Tern, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Downy Woodpecker,
Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird,
Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, 
Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch

Newburyport Whale Watch Out of Newburyport:
Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Hermit Thrush

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Great Blue Heron, Northern Mockingbird, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Purple Finch, American Robin, European Starling, Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Yellow Warbler, Palm Warbler, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Brown Thrasher, Common Yellowthroat, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren, Savannah Sparrow

Low Street, Newburyport:
Turkey Vulture

7 Seas Whale Watch Out of Gloucester: 
Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, 
Laughing Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Common Eider

Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, Exeter, NH:
American Golden-Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Little Blue Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler 

Nelson's Island, Rowley:
Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel

Ferry Road, Salisbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Whip-poor-will, Wild Turkey, Osprey, Northern Flicker

Pine Island Road, Newbury:
Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Great Egret, Tree Swallow, Great Horned Owl

Granite State Whale Watch out of Rye, New Hampshire: 
Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Great Cormorant, Black Guillemot, Osprey

St. Mary's Cemetery, Newburyport:
Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Mockingbird, Cooper's Hawk, Chipping Sparrow, Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch,
Northern Flicker, House Wren

Newburyport Harbor:

Whimbrel, Mallard, Belted Kingfisher, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Great Blue Heron, 
Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet,
Lesser Yellowlegs, 
White-rumped Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher,  
Bonaparte’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Laughing Gull, Mourning Dove, Mute Swan, Ruddy Turnstone, 
House Sparrow
New Hampshire Seacoast:
Whimbrel, Least Tern, Common Tern, Short-billed Dowitcher, Greater Yellowlegs, Bonaparte's Gull, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, American Golden-Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Tree Swallow, Pine Warbler, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart


Concord Street, West Gloucester:
Broad-winged Hawk

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Great Horned Owl, Western Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Red Knot, Short-billed Dowitcher, Black-bellied Plover, Piping Plover, Sanderling, Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Northern Gannet

Ring's Island, Salisbury:
Greater Yellowlegs, Belted Kingfisher, Mallard, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon

Sunset Boulevard, Newburyport:
Whimbrel
Essex Bay, Essex:
Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, 
Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Hudsonian Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Herring Gull, 
Great Black-backed Gull, Black Tern, Common Tern

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Purple Martins of Plum Island - 2014 Breeding Season

Purple Martin by Nathan Dubrow

It was a delightful, New England summer for the Purple Martins of Plum Island!  The martins had plenty of prey 
items and good weather.  Thank you all for your faithful reporting!

Here is the tally:

Lot #1 Site:


Purple Martins nested at this site this season due to the martin decoys we placed to lure them back to
the gourds.  Well, those decoys worked!  Purple Martin decoys help attract Purple Martins to the housing when
there's been no nesting activity, preventing the site from coming across as an abandoned site.  Martins
seek out their own kind. They find protection and safety in numbers. If your site comes across like a
ghost town, passing birds may just keep going.  To a martin, it's all about safety, and that safety comes
in numbers. Using these proven tools such as Purple Martin decoys caused passing birds to give pause
and check out our site. They thought there was a Marty Party going on, and they dropped in. 

Gourds: 18

Purple Martin Nests:  4

Eggs: 7
 
Viable eggs:  5

Non-viable eggs: 2

Young:  5

Fledged Young: 5

House Sparrow Nests Removed: 8


At the North End site, we hosted a martin from Connecticut. It was sporting a Federal band as well as a
blue band supplied by the CT Department of Energy & Environment Protection.  This bird was banded in
2013 near Clinton, CT by Min T. Huang.  This female laid one non-viable egg in gourd #17.

North End Site:

Gourds: 24

Purple Martin Nests:  19

Eggs: 32
 
Viable eggs:  28

Non-viable eggs: 4

Young:  28

Fledged Young: 28

House Sparrow Nests Removed: 19

This season, the Purple Martin colony on private property on "The Basin" did well.  The landlord there passed
away during the winter but "his" martins returned faithfully to the site.  There were Purple Martins nesting in
Newbury again this year.  Martins nested in Seabrook, NH in the new gourds, and a team of volunteers
monitored that colony.  Some of those volunteers attended a few training sessions on Plum Island. We
assume that these new, breeders are offspring from the Plum Island colony.


2015 ADOPT A GOURD PROGRAM - PURPLE MARTINS OF PLUM ISLAND

Adopt one or more Purple Martin gourds for the 2015 breeding season. These birds at Plum Island have been studied and monitored for years. Adoption fees are $40/gourd. Purple Martin gourd adoptions would make great gifts for members of your family or friends for the upcoming
holiday season.
With each adoption of a Purple Martin gourd for the 2015 breeding season, you will receive:
  • A photo of the gourd,
  • As the season progresses, updates on breeding biology at the colony ~ nest building, egg laying, hatching and fledgling activities via email,
  • A final tally of the colony's reproductive success,
  • An invitation to renew your adoption the following year.
Your adoption allows you to:
  • Partake in a scheduled round of nest checks with a Purple Martin landlord,
  • Know that you are helping provide housing for this human-dependent songbird.
Please make your check out to Friends of Parker River and mail your adoption fee to Sue McGrath, 44 Moulton St., Newburyport, MA, 01950. The Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of the natural resources of the Refuge and fostering public understanding and appreciation of the Refuge.

Best regards,
Sue